Travel Diary: when the going gets tough, the tough gets going …

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I’m really loving Matt Phillips (with a double ‘L’) and Jean-Bernard Carillet (with a double ‘L’).
who?!?

The guys who wrote these for ‘Don’t Leave Home Without …’ tips:

  • flip-flops for those toe-curling bathrooms
  • earplugs in case you don’t agree with the bus driver’s music selection
  • sink plug – water is very precious

and ‘Fast Facts’ such as:

  • average number of plaits in the Tigrayan shoruba hairstyle: 38
  • 24,748 days: length of time Italy took to return Aksum’s obelisk

But my all time rofl favourite is:

  • US$7.7 million: Italy’s cost of returning the obelisk (inflation’s a bitch!)
And with that … Matt Phillips (with a double ‘L’) and Jean-Bernard Carillet (with a double ‘L’) had caught my undivided attention nightly for 30 minutes before I give in to gravity – the falling eyelids.

Coming from a nation where anything exceeding 100-years old is considered very, very old, it’s difficult to phantom and visualise anything about Ethiopia which has an existence since 3.5 million years ago; a place that has seen the arrival of Semitic people from Saba’ during the 1st millennium BC, survived the invasion of warriors from the Islamic state of Adal, overcame the Jessuit missionaries attempts to convert their emperors from Coptic Christians to Roman Catholics, witnessed the rise and fall of Benito Mussolini, right to the recent demarcation of Eritrea-Ethiopia border. In short, this is a country with powerful and religious ancient civilisation to boast off and one that has much to offer in terms of historical sites juxtaposed against natures rich bounty – earning itself the name The Horn of Africa.
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If that isn’t enough to engaged me, surely names like like Gondar and Bahar Dar would – delightfuly tickling my imaginations of scenes from Lord of the Rings! So for now, especially now – when the going gets tough – all I can think of is packing my bags to … {gulp} yes, Ethiopia! And seriously, why not?

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oh, one last thing, can anyone tell me what the below means? A search result I got when I was searching for VISA information, which naturally led to looking for an embassy … err… I can’t possibly be expected to go to Beijing to get a visa for Ethiopia right?
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Ethiopia Embassy , Malaysia
No 3, Xiu Shui Nan Jie, Jian Guo Men Wai PO Box 100600 Beijing China 100600
Phone:+86-10-65325258 +86-10-65325318 +86-10-65321972
Fax:+86-10-65325591 +86-10-65327904
Email: ethchina@public3.bta.net.cn
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